College Students RAVE about “Can I Kiss You?” Show

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“All I can say is WOW!!  I attended one of his sessions for the Peer-Ed people and his “Can I Kiss You?” program too and both were amazing. I truly enjoyed everything…and everything he had to say was so true. Guys and Girls all have a lot to learn about communication, and this is a great way to get people started talking. Along with this, I thought his approach to talking about sexual assault was very enlightening, and I have pledged to support survivors. The whole program really makes you think, about everything you’ve done or haven’t done in a relationship. So I just want to say THANK YOU MIKE!  For sharing your time with us, sharing your message, and hopefully opening the eyes of those around you.”
— Mary, a student from Hastings College

“I tried asking and it was amazingly easier to do.   I would definitely ask again because it was like a load was lifted off my shoulders — the guessing game of ‘Do you really like me?’ was gone.  I was asked the day after the presentation at my school. I actually told him I’d have to think about it, and the next day I said yes. I’ve been dating him for over a month now, and I’m amazed that he asks before everything. And I can’t be more appreciative.”
— Nicole, a student from Christopher Newport University

“I attended your seminar at Iowa State University in April. At the time, I was only in town for orientation, and the catchy title of your seminar got my attention. I went with my best friend who had been a victim of sexual assault, and afterward I was finally able to respond to her better, and she was able to express herself more clearly and realize it wasn’t her fault. The incident had happened over a year ago and now the healing can finally begin. Thank you for your passion and dedication – I know we weren’t the only ones who were affected.”
— Stephanie, a student from Iowa State University

“I know you won’t remember me. But I will never forget your words and your compassion!!”
— A student from a campus in NY

“I have used the ‘asking first‘ approach with my boyfriend and he has used it with me. It has really helped us to have great communication with each other, and we have a very healthy and happy relationship.  Asking helps to make the relationship more open and comfortable. If you ask first or are asked there is a lot more trust in the relationship and the trust is maintained far more easily.  I want to thank you so much. Your program has helped me to move forward past some issues I have had with men and relationships. I am now in a very happy relationship with my boyfriend who also attended your program. On our second date he used the ‘asking first” approach. It really does work, and it is so wonderful for our relationship. Again I want to thank you so much for your program ‘Can I Kiss You?‘.”
— A student from the University of Dayton in OH

“There was a guy on campus to ask me out and it was just after your talk so the words were fresh in my head (the poster hangs on my dorm door) so at the end of the date I asked him if I could kiss him. He seemed surprised that I would ask, but because of that we’ve become closer. We respect each other and that has become the bases for our relationship, not physical pleasure.   My mum was a victim of rape and has been very worried about the same thing happening to me. I never really got it until after I heard your talk. It really made me realize things that we take for granted. I hadn’t wanted to go when I heard the title of your talk, but I will never regret going to hear you speak. Your words changed my life and how I view myself and my mum. Thank you.”
— A student from Barton College in NC

“I have always been that girl who had a boyfriend, but I am currently in one of the most successful relationships I’ve ever had. We’ve been dating for a really long time and haven’t lost that spark—and we’re doing the long distance thing. One thing that my boyfriend does that no one else has done is ask to do things when we’re being intimate. Even after dating for several months (approaching a year) he still asks if, and how, he can please me. He *always* asks, adding that he wants to do exactly what I want. It makes it my choice. It’s so attractive and sexy that it’s impossible to say no, but I know that if I didn’t want to do something, I could tell him. Knowing that makes our relationship so much stronger. I just wanted to reiterate your point–asking can be really sexy, and doesn’t have to ruin the moment at all. In fact, it can make the moment more amazing than it already was! Thanks for coming to our school and letting everyone know how good asking can be! (and feel free to share this story with other people!)”
— Leslie, a student from Bucknell in Pennsylvania

“In the fall of 2003, you visited Luther College to give your presentation, which as a first year student I was strongly urged to attend. At the time, I thought the ‘Can I kiss you?’ idea made sense, but that it wasn’t necessarily practical. Either way, I wasn’t in a situation where a romantic relationship was a possibility, so I put it to the back of my mind and didn’t really think about it.

This summer, I met a guy who was interested in me. We decided to get together, and one night we were cuddling on a bench. I could tell that he wanted to kiss me, and I realized that I wasn’t ready for it, but I didn’t have the courage to flat-out refuse him. He wasn’t picking up on my nonverbal signals, and I was starting to get really uncomfortable. Finally, unable to think of anything else to do, I started telling him about your program. About how you’d shown us how nonverbal signals rarely work, and the importance of asking first. Wonder of wonders, he got it! He asked if he could kiss me, and I was able to tell him no (I was still nervous/embarrassed by it, but it was manageable).

That by itself is perhaps a small thing, but I think that it shaped the way the physical parts of our relationship went from that point on. He always asked before we did anything that might make me uncomfortable, and I was always comfortable with telling him to stop if I needed to. I really think that having seen your program and sharing that with him helped to make ours into a healthier relationship. So thank you, Mike, for everything you do. It really does make a difference!”
— Gretchen, a student from Luther College in Iowa

“I know several rape or sexual assault survivors. I don’t know why I know so many but knowing them makes my life a better life. I would never go back and say I wish I hadn’t met any of them. To support them when they are nervous or just need a reassurance is magical. It’s hard to get used to the fact that someone you truly love has been raped, you are angry and frustrated. However, being calm and just a listener is all a survivor needs most of the time, and the bond that has grown between some of my friends and I will never be broken. The things Mike said were useful to anyone. It’s true that all you have to say is “Thank you for telling me, That means a lot. I want you to know that if you need me for anything, I will always support you.” That may very well be one of the most influential statements that can be made. Thanks again, Mike!”
— Gary, a student from Bucknell in Pennsylvania

“My sister and I were both raped in the past year. She was assaulted on a Friday and by Monday, I had heard things about it around our high school. I also knew because I had acted the same way after being assaulted. I opened the door and told her that if something happened, she could tell me and I would listen. She told us what happened that night. At the police station they asked her if she said no. I agree that they should ask if he asked. It was great that Mike brought light to that situation (in the “Can I Kiss You?” program).  Society does seem to focus on what the survivor does and as a survivor, I know the difference. Thank you again!!!  IT (the ‘Can I Kiss You?’ program) WAS AMAZING!!”
— A student at St. Cloud State University in MN

“A couple weeks ago, you spoke here at Gettysburg College. Just 2 days later, I accompanied a female friend of mine to her former boyfriend’s (who had raped her) house where she confronted and said goodbye to him. She had been afraid to do so for 7 months, and she said that it was my simple supportive accompaniment that enabled her to at long last do it. So your presentation was absolutely correct, in that the thing a survivor of sexual assault needs most is just to know that people support her (or so it seems from my experience). Thus I desired to thank you for your presentation here, and I hope that other people can benefit also from it–whether they are the survivor, or the supportive friend as I was.”
— Joe, a student from Gettysburg College in PA

“Hi Mike, I am an athlete on our campus who attended your seminar on Wednesday.  I just wanted to let you know how much you put things into perspective.  It had never really occurred to me that the simple action of asking for permission could really be that powerful.  I have been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half, and we always used to joke about how me met and how the first time we ever kissed he asked me if he could.  I would always laugh and say how cute it was, and of course all of his buddies would make fun of him and call him feminine names.  But after listening to what you had to say, I realized that my boyfriend never really stopped asking me for my permission, even after being with me for so long.  He truly respects me and my body, and for the first time, I am recognizing it.  Nothing ever flagged my brain when he would say something that asked for my consent, so I never really noticed the fact that he wasn’t just doing things because HE felt like it.  He wanted to make sure it was something both of us wanted.  So basically, I just wanted to thank you for opening my eyes to what I have been oblivious to! I really hope your message touches everyone who hears you because I know there are good people out there who can make a difference.  Thank you so much for your stories! You truly have a good heart!”
— Student at CSU at Sacramento

“The day after seeing this program, I ran into a friend of mine who had also been at the presentation as well. Jokingly, I said to him, “Can I kiss you?” At this point, I should mention that Fred is INCREDIBLY gay, and that I am a female. And he said, “Okay!” So, completely randomly, Fred and I shared a kiss, right there, in the middle of the English department building. It was completely unexpected and beautiful and it’ll probably never happen again. . . it absolutely made my day.
— Mariah, a student at Skidmore College

“My boyfriend asked me if he could kiss me on our first date, and I thought it was sweet, mature and above all, respectful. We’ve been together for 6 months, and I think there is a definite possibility that he is the man i might marry. And I will always remember our first kiss being perfect. I think asking is a great way to begin an open and honest relationship.”
— Jess, a student at University of Delaware

“My boyfriend and I are both Greeks on our campus.  The first time he went to kiss me, he pulled back. I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to kiss him too, but then he looked me straight in the eyes, and asked if he could kiss me. It melted my heart. When it’s truly sincere, that first kiss means so much more. So I just wanted to let all those disbelievers out there know, that it really does work.  If a guy were to ask me to kiss him, it would mean so much more and I would have so much more respect for that person, especially now that I’ve attended your seminar. I’ve never tried the asking first, because I was one of those girls who used to believe that ‘it’s the man’s job,’ but now I’ve realized that it’s my body.
— Meredith at Eastern Washington University


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